Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain rolls the dice

You gotta give it to John McCain.

The guy has bravado, and you can see that by his choice for his VP running mate--44-yr.-old Sarah Palin.

Palin, governor of Alaska, is married and has five children (one of whom has Down's Syndrome.)

She's strong pro life, and as one of her Democratic critics noted: She has more experience fishing than she does in politics.

Her Democratic opponents will rail about her being an untested, unproven choice with zilch foreign policy experience.

Sarah Palin, you say?

A potential heartbeat away from the presidency (if McCain beats Obama)? Salmon fisherwoman Sarah Palin as commander in chief of America's armed forces?

A sidenote: The woman, at the very least, is good looking (as is Michelle Obama.)

So attractive that she once appeared on the cover of Vogue Magazine.

So much of a head-turner that a few years ago, bumper stickers screamed: "Alaska: Coldest State. Hottest Governor."

Question: Do looks count in a presidential election.

Answer: How could they NOT count??!

Do you agree with me?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cobra sinks its fangs into Japanese man

Why would anyone keep 51 deadly snakes (among them cobras and mambas) in his flat in Tokyo?

It was bound to happen.

The flat's owner got bitten by one of his "pets" (presumably a cobra) and almost died.

I'm blogging about his because (especially if you've had me as an instructor in one of my journalism classes) "snakes" always rate at near the top of my list of most read about topics for journalists to report on.

Here's the stor--reported today by the Associated Press.

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- A nearly fatal bite by a poisonous snake led to the arrest of a man Wednesday for keeping 51 deadly cobras and mambas in his Tokyo apartment without permission, police said.

Among the deadly cobras and mambas found in the apartment, one of the snakes was about six feet long.

Among the deadly cobras and mambas found in the apartment, one of the snakes was about six feet long.

The illicit collection was discovered when Nobukazu Kashiwagi called for an ambulance after being bitten on a finger by one of his snakes, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

Kashiwagi, aged 41, was trying to feed the snake when he was bitten in mid July. He was seriously ill in a Tokyo hospital for several weeks, but subsequently recovered. Police arrested Kashiwagi after he was discharged, the spokesman said.

Kashiwagi kept the deadly snakes without permission from the Tokyo metropolitan government, the police spokesman said.

Video footage by public broadcaster NHK showed the snake cases were piled up in his small apartment room. One of the snakes was about six feet long.

The police spokesman could not say where the snakes have been moved.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Erasing files from your hard drive

In case anyone might be interested, there's a Web site you can access to permanently delete all files from your hard drive. I'm told that even if you've trashed or deleted your files, they're still on your hard drive.

The Web site for permanently erasing files from your hard drive is:

(I have not used this, but I've read about it.)

Of course, do NOT erase or delete anything till you've made a backup of it that you can later retrieve from another disk or computer device.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

State Point Pilot Web site

Here's an excellent newspaper Web site recommended to me by my friend Jock Lauterer at UNC-Chapel Hill. Small newspaper but innovative site.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Remember Ashley Alexander Dupre?

In case you've forgotten, Ashley Alexander Dupre was the woman that N.Y. (former and disgraced) Gov. Eliot Spitzer had an affair with.

She was practically a no-name before the Spitzer sex scandal hit the front pages and became the lead story on many national TV programs.

But then tens of millions of Americans suddenly learned about her--primarily through, of all things, her images and writings on Facebook.

Should Facebook material be fodder for the news media?

Or does a person's social networking Web site qualify as protected private material.

Sticky questions that my friend Doug Fisher recently blogged about. Doug, who works at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication, came across a thought-provocative paper that deals specifically with all this.

Read about it in the headlined link above.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hello to my top three students

Hi Heather, Casey and Taylor. Turn up your sound and click on the hotlink headline above to get a message from the old guy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Power of blogging

I've been blogging for a few years now. No particular focus but I try to capture some of what's on my mind, what's in the media or what others are writing about on the Net. Also, blogging is a good way to reduce paperwork and scraps of paper. (And if you're like me, you sometimes fear you're getting buried in paper.) Have a bright idea (or at least a thought that you believe encapsulates a significant insight)? Blog about it. Find something interesting on the Net that you don't have time to get into at the moment but may want to revisit later? Make a note, concerning the link, on your blog.

Speaking of the Net and blogging, there's a group in Greensboro that's trying, through a blog, to help feed the homeless.

Quite a worthy cause. Check it out now.

Proof positive that the Internet can be put to positive use (notwithstanding the assertion, from John Grogan, NYT best-selling author of the book "Marley and Me," that the Net is a catalyst for the greatest waste of time in human history.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tribute to Vietnam era veterans

Okay, so if you were around and in the military during the Vietnam War, you're getting old. (Yours truly turned 60 a few weeks ago.)

But the experience of being in the USAF during the Vietnam era never leaves my mind.

Click on link above for a song that helps bring it all back.

Citizen journalism going strong in Greensboro

Citizen journalism is controversial but it's still very much alive. To that end, I ran across an interesting blog post by Greensboro News-Record editor John Robinson about something called "Cop Watch" in Guiliford County, N.C.

Watch the above video and let me know what you think. Is citizen journalism here to stay? An interesting but fleeting curiosity?